Monday, October 17, 2016

Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay Election Part 2. By Guest Blogger Tito


Sue Loyzelle currently serves as the district 2 representative. She works for the YMCA and is liaison to the town's Communities for A Lifetime Committee. She was appointed to the council in 2010 and then ran for office in 2011 using lobbyist Jose Luis Castillo as a consultant. She has also consulted with him in her current campaign. Jose Luis Castillo works as a campaign consultant and as a lobbyist hired to convince the council to approve zoning changes and site plans in Cutler Bay.

Loyzelle stated in 2011 that she was in favor of allowing buildings as high as 4 stories along Old Cutler Road and she has voted accordingly. She has also voted to rezone properties to allow greater density. In recent debates and interviews she has tried to rewrite history, contradicting her former positions.   The rest of her platform is rather generic and nondescript with no written details whatsoever, wanting to improve our quality of life, fight for families, public safety, better parks, etc.

Her campaign finance reports show contributors including 3 real estate PAC's ($3,000), recalled former Miami-Dade Commissioner Natacha Seijas ($100), former commissioner Katy Sorenson ($75) and Palmetto Bay's Vice-Mayor John Dubois ($250). One check from a business ($1,000) and another from an individual ($1,000) associated with the recently approved Mater Academy which Loyzelle voted in favor of.

Javier Giraud is an attorney focusing on real estate and representing homeowners against their insurance companies. His previous government experience was as an aide to county commissioner Javier Souto. He is also on the board of his homeowners association.

Giraud is a relative newcomer to Cutler Bay. He has taken a strong anti-lobbyist stance and has publicly stated he is against four story buildings on Old Cutler Road. He is also against any attempt to increase the zoning or density on property along this roadway. He owns property on 87th Ave which was recently rezoned, but he did not ask for increased density. According to Sunbiz, he has a business relationship with an Old Cutler landowner who has attempted and failed to get approval to build a CVS on his property.

Other issues Giraud is focused on is making changes to the growth management plan, converting parts of town hall into office condos to save money, fewer no bid contracts, and public safety. He alsostates he will not meet privately with lobbyists or their clients, a practice now allowed in the town. He gives voters a detailed account on his positions on his website. His campaign finance reports show he is primarily self funding his campaign. He pledged to never take funds from lobbyists or their clients and so far he has kept this promise. There are no smoking guns regarding contributions.


Chuck Barrentine works in loss prevention for Sears. This is his third run for office, his first was in 2006, and again in 2011. In his last campaign, he ran against Sue Loyzelle on a platform of replacing the town manager (who left a year later) and opposing 4 story buildings on Old Cutler Road. His position of limited growth on Old Cutler Road appears unchanged, citing traffic as a primary concern.

Barrentine has come out strongly against the influence of lobbyists, developers and special interests and for increased transparency. His website includes a detailed list of several local issues of concern, along with potential solutions. Barrentine has served on the South Dade Military Affairs Committee, hurricane preparedness activities (CERT team), and coaching sports teams among others. Chuck is less polished then his opponent, but appears to be well informed about local issues. According to Barrentine's latest campaign report he has collected $3,900.00. For the most part, Barrentine seems to be funding his own campaign. There appear to be no smoking guns.

Michael Callahan works as Manager of Facilities at East Ridge Village and is the chair of the town's Parks and Recreation committee. Unlike Barrentine and Giraud, Callahan appears to be unconcerned about the influence of lobbyists on town decisions. His concerns seem to be focused on three main issues. The first being parks, which he is well familiar. He supports building a multimillion dollar aquatic center, creating a park by town hall, and other park improvements. His other two issues include managed development and traffic calming. His position on not allowing developers to provide their own traffic studies is an important issue but his thoughts on traffic calming presents nothing new.
Callahan is far more polished than his opponent, but he comes off as very much the politician, perhaps due to a previous career in acting.

He has the least amount of funding, with just $1,950.00 raised. Again, there are no smoking guns regarding his campaign finances. Callahan has made comments that lead me to believe he would be pro-environment, which does fit nicely with his parks

Part 1 - Palmetto Bay
Genius says:
My problem with both of these -- the influence of Jose Luis Castillo. I don't believe that one should manage a campaign and then get paid to lobby the people he has managed. It is an unethical situation to me. I think both towns (or villages) should look at an ordinance to curtail this. I wrote about this problem in Cutler Bay in 2014. When are they going to fix it? Unless they make a pledge to recuse themselves from any vote he is lobbying for --- I would NOT vote for any candidate that he manages.


Chuck Barrentine said...

I want to thank Eye On Miami for getting this information out to the residents of Cutler Bay so they can make informed decisions on who they will vote for to represent them on the council for the next four years. I encourage residents to go to my web site at to view my stance on the important issues that affect the residents of Cutler Bay. As always please feel free to contact me at 305-910-8510 or if you have any questions you need answers on. Unlike some of those currently on the council I promise I will ALWAYS responded to calls and emails if elected to the council.

Thank You,


Anonymous said...

Anyone who votes for Susi Loyzelle or John Dubois should get their heads examined. In my opinion, they are not being honest about their positions or their cozy relationship with lobbyists. They are voting in their own interest not ours.

Anonymous said...

Genius, it's all about Castillo down here. Every election and issue that crosses the dais is now tainted. Just check the voting records. The Castillo infected candidates simply vote together as a block. It is impossible to get a fair hearing on lands vulnerable to development in both Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay. Know who's bought before you vote!!

Anonymous said...

John Dubois has taken this $12,000 a year job to monitor his own interests in PB. His record shows he cares nothing about areas away from Old Cutler, allowing development in the SW section and voting against traffic measures that would make the streets safer. But he's all over this PBVC thing like white on rice since his high dollar bayfront spread is two doors down.

Anonymous said...

If you want the peoples running Cutler Bay, vote for Giraud. If you want lobbyists running Cutler Bay, vote for Loyzelle, her record speaks for itself. It's that simple :)

Anonymous said...

What a mess we have in our two little towns in South Dade and it all revolves around developers lobbyists, and some even who also act as campaign managers and advisors to politicians. They also deliver absentee ballots and buses of people not from our towns to public meetings to make it look like there is support for the developers projects. Lobbyist Jose Castillo began his career further north in Miami with the notoriously disgraced Natacha Seijas. He then moved south to Homestead to represent and get elected the notorious and much despised Lynda Bell. Sue Ellen Loyzelle then infected Cutler Bay town politics with her pretty boy as her campaign manager. Soon he was running the campaign for mayor of present Mayor Peggy Bell. He even "unofficially" advised current Cutler Bay Vice Mayor Ernie the banana hater Sochin on campaign matters. They even were seen having a leisurely breakfast meeting at a local Starbucks. Cozy. But then he moved north where he became campaign manager for Karyn Cunningham of Palmetto Bay. And that's just one lobbyist, there are others who ask to meet regularly with our town elected officials. Yet when we try talking to some of our officials about our views on these projects, they run for the hills and hide. Ah so they can talk to lobbyists but not to the people they represent?! What is wrong with this picture? We have to rid our two towns of these conflicts of interest or our politicians will never represent us and our interests fully, moreso those of lobbyists paid by developers.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Barrentine has a lot of ideas, but they are impractical, and he truly does not understand how municipal governments work, how they interact with the county and other agencies, and therefore will not be able to deliver on all his promises. He ran for office years ago, and did not show up for a single town meeting or event until he decided to run for office again. Now his signs are everywhere, particularly on the vacant properties of people who want to overdevelop our town.

Javier Giraud's signs are on the same properties, including the one he owns, which he recently got rezoned by the council to allow him to build townhouses in addition to single-family homes. Originally, he wanted permission to build apartments on that property, but was talked down by residents and the town itself.

Michael Callahan has been a committed resident of the town, particularly as chair of the parks and recreation committee. You see him at every event. He has a genuine passion for the town, and will serve well on the council.

Sue Ellen Loyzelle is far from a perfect councilmember, but she is definitely a better choice than Giraud. Remember she is only one of five members of the council. On more than one occasion, she has been outvoted by other councilmembers, particularly Mixon and Coriat. In the end, she is a much more informed candidate than Giraud, who is running to serve his own interests and those of other property owners in Cutler Bay, few of whom actually live in our town.

Anonymous said...

Wait. Is it Susie, Suzy, or Susi??? It sounds to me like she is trying to confuse latin voters into thinking she is latin with the new "Susi" name on her signs. Sounds like some JLC idea to counteract her running against a legitimate latin candidate. Pathetic!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness Mixon and Coriat sometimes stand up to Loyzelle otherwise every inch of Cutler Bay would be developed. At least every inch that Jose Castillo has a hand in developing. Loyzelle is not just "far from perfect" she is terrible. Why vote back in someone who's willing to sell us out for the benefit of lobbyist, developers and other self interests. Vote for Javier Giraud.

As for Chuck Barrentine, he too will get my vote. Your attempt to paint Callahan as someone who is more informed and involved is just plain nonsense. He is friends with half the council and will vote the status quo. We need someone independent and that is not Callahan. Vote for Chuck Barrentine.

Chuck Barrentine said...

Reply to anonymous Part 2

Unlike some people, including Michael Callahan, I do not think that community service begins and ends at the borders for Cutler Bay. Since the election in 2011 I have served the last four years on the South Dade Military Affairs Committee. During that time I have served as a regular committee member, executive committee member, treasurer, and membership committee member, as well as helping on events like the Veteran's Day Parade, Military Appreciation Day, Junior ROTC barbecue, and our fund raising events the Casino Night and Golf Tournament. I attend monthly meetings including our general membership meeting at the Homestead Air Reserve Base which includes representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Ileana Ros Letinen, Daniella Levine Cava, Carlos Curbelo, Carlos Gimenez, Holly Raschein, as well as Mayor Jeff Porter and Vice Mayor Steve Shelley of Homestead. Do you think those connections will be a benefit to the Town of Cutler Bay if I am elected. I do.

The South Dade Military Affairs committee has done and will continue to do fantastic things to help our current and former military personnel and their families that live in the South Dade area, including Cutler Bay, which has almost 1700 veterans. Our current project is working with the previously mentioned government leaders to bring a VA Medical Facility to the South Dade area across the street from the base so current and former military personnel from South Dade to Key West will not be burdened with having to go to the VA facility in downtown Miami. I am sorry to tell you that Michael Callahan and his parks committee have done nothing and will do nothing in comparison that even approaches the magnitude of what the South Dade Military Committee and it's members have accomplished and will continue to accomplish going forward to help our military personnel . I am honored to serve on the South Dade Military Affairs Committee and I will never apologize for giving whatever time I can to help the men and women who have fought for and will continue to fight for our country just because they may not live within the borders of Cutler Bay.

Now lets get to my campaign signs. Yes, I do have some of signs on property owned by Andy Stephano who owns the property where the Farmers Market used to be on 87th & Old Cutler. Yes, the Farmers Market that the residents loved and because of a decision by the council no longer exist. I met Andy Stephano when I ran in 2011. I have maintained contact with him ever since. For the record I have personally told him I do not like the current project for that property on 87th & Old Cutler. When I first talked to him about it in 2011 the project was going to be much different but had to be changed because of Town guidelines. I do not like the buildings having to be right on Old Cutler Rd. I think it is a safety issue and just does not look good for the area. I have already told Andy Stephano that since my signs were on his property if I am elected I would have to abstain from voting on anything related to his project that does not conform to current zoning regulations. I think it would be unethical and an integrity issue to do so and I do not want any perception of that associated with me.

Anonymous said...

Why does the south dade landfill have a advertisement in their window for Loyzelle? It can't be legal to put up campaign literature in a government building. Doesn't Susi's partner, Rhonda work there?

Anonymous said...

Chuck, the Vice Mayor of Homestead is Patricia Fairclough not Stephen Shelley.

Chuck Barrentine said...

That is correct. Shelley finished his two year term as Vice Mayor and is finishing out his four year term as council member. I am just used to referring to him as Vice Mayor. Homestead is structured different than Cutler Bay. You can serve as a council member and Vice Mayor at the same time in Homestead although the term lengths are different. Thank you for the correction.

Anonymous said...

In general, someone shouldn't be categorized as a nefarious candidate because they favor concentrating development in a particular area. Exceptions would be if they or their family or friends will benefit in some way from the development, or if they campaigned on platform of nondevelopment and are not remaining true to their word - in these cases, this would be problematic.

But everyone - there are only a few ways I can think of to handle more people moving to the area:
1) Have regulations that prevent growth (no one can move in, unless someone moves out); if some communities did this, then others would get all the growth/impact on services, and I can't imagine how this would ultimately play out.....
2) planned increase in density/development in certain designated areas (worse for traffic unless we get more people out of their cars, but densification allows more economical provision of services + is better for the environment compared to sprawl)
3) sprawl out past the UDB (bad for environment and more costly to provide services)
any other options that I haven't thought of?

Anonymous said...

There are places where development is appropriate and places it is not. It is not appropriate to increase density and building height along Old Cutler Rd, because this is a two lane road that, by state law, can not be widened. Unfortunately, Susi Loyzelle, and the current council has irresponsibly voted to increase the zoning and density of properties that are along this roadway or feed into it. Why? Because Susi, and Mayor Bell are, in my opinion, beholden to the lobbyist that helped them get elected, and to the developers.

US 1 in Cutler Bay has existing zoning that allows for 15 story buildings to accommodate residential and commercial development, and the busway, with the potential of light rail, to handle the extra traffic.